Can You Freeze Spaghetti?
Can you freeze spaghetti? If you ever thought about freezing leftovers after a good spaghetti dinner, I have good news for you. You can freeze spaghetti easily just as many people do on a regular basis.
For taste, economy, and wide appeal, there’s nothing like a spaghetti dinner. With or without meatballs, spaghetti and sauce are great for a big family dinner, lunch for the kids, and even for a quick snack for the avid pasta lover.
The best of cooks will admit, however, that they often misjudge the amount of spaghetti they should cook for a meal. So much depends on package directions (which can be wrong about true serving size) or on grandma’s traditional plate of spaghetti and meatballs (which can be ‘way too much for even a football player to consume). This begs the question, Can You Freeze Spaghetti? in order to deal with the leftovers.
Image used under Creative Commons from jshj
There are two ways of freezing cooked spaghetti. Some people prefer one, while others swear by the other. To find out which one works best for you, test out both of them and compare the results.
Freezing the spaghetti noodles goes like this:
- Cook the noodles al dente. You will reheat the noodles later on so there’s no need to cook it through.
- Strain the liquids.
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil into the al dente spaghetti noodles. The oil will prevent the noodles from sticking together.
- Season the noodles if needed.
- Let the noodles cool.
- Divide the noodles into serving-sized portions.
- Transfer the noodles into freezer bag(s) or containers and into the freezer. If using freezer bags, squeeze as much air as you can before sealing the bag.
Meatballs or meat sauce should be frozen like this:
- Prepare the sauce or meatballs as you normally would and let it cool.
- Divide everything into serving-sized portions for easier thawing.
- (Optional) Coat the inside of freezer bags or containers with olive oil, so the tomato sauce does not stain it bright orange.
- Transfer everything into bags or containers. Add a label with name and date if needed.
- Put the bags or containers into the freezer.
Freezing everything together is as easy as it goes.
- Prepare spaghetti and meatballs or meat sauce as you normally would. Keep the noodles al dente.
- Combine everything and divide into serving-sized portions.
- Wait until the food is faily cold.
- (Optional)Coat the inside of freezer bags or containers with olive oil to avoid bright orange stains.
- Transfer the dish into bags or containers. If using bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing. Add labels with name and date if needed.
- Put the bags or containers into the freezer.
When you decide to use your frozen spaghetti, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. Just keep in mind, as with thawing any frozen food, that slowly is best.
- In the fridge. Put it into the refrigerator in the evening. It will be ready in the morning. Plus, you can reheat some of it and re-freeze the rest.
- Bring it with you to work. For single serving sizes of spaghetti and sauce, simply taking them to work in the morning and leaving them at room temperature will pretty much guarantee to thaw by lunchtime. Then, reheat in the microwave.
- On the countertop. If you have only a few hours to thaw the spaghetti, putting it on the countertop should do it. Please note that this way is suggested only if you plan on using all of the spaghetti right away after thawing. To speed things up consider submerging the freezer bag or container in cold water.
- Microwave. If pressed for time, microwaving it is the best option.
If you’ve cooked too much spaghetti for you and your family to eat, freezing is the way the easiest way to avoid wasting it. Since the dish is already prepared, the only thing to do is to transfer it into freezer bags or containers and into the freezer. Consider dividing the dish into serving-sized portions, so you can easily thaw as much as you need for your next meal. Consider adding a label with the name and date, especially if you’re using a freezer container.
Sure, you can freeze cooked spaghetti noodles as well as leftover spaghetti noodles. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the doneness of the noodles before freezing. If you are making spaghetti ahead of time, you have to cook the noodles al dente or only halfway through doneness. This way, the spaghetti noodles won’t turn to mush once they are thawed and reheated. Also, don’t forget to drizzle olive oil and then toss the noodles so they won’t clump together as they cool.
As for leftover spaghetti noodles, there is no choice but to freeze them as is. Just check if you need to add more olive oil to the cooked noodles before packing them for freezing. Then, you can either divide the batch into manageable portions or pack the entire batch of cooked spaghetti noodles for freezing.